John Terry retires: The editor’s take
Last night John Terry retired from international duty after nine years of blood, sweat and tears in an England jersey. Much has been made of Terry’s decision given the fact his FA hearing for the use of racially abusive language got underway at Wembley today, with many questioning whether Terry has “given up”. However, after being used by the FA during the Euros, Terry decision is the right one for him, and will be a big miss for England.
The last few years have been troublesome for Terry: the Wayne Bridge affair, the stripping of the captaincy and then being reinstated; then the racism trial, being stripped again and being blamed for the departure of Fabio Cappello. However, despite all this, Terry never shied away from being available for selection, whether that be for club or country.
This is a man who dived head first just to try and prevent his country from going a goal behind. Yes, Terry has lost his pace and forces his defence to sit deeper, much to the dismay of André Villas-Boas, but he is still this country’s best defender by a country mile. The void in the defence may not be felt straight away when England play the minnows, but against better opposition, the gulf in class will be evident.
Despite all the captaincy issues Terry remained available, but the decision to continue with a case which he has already been cleared off is a step too far. Yes, it’s true Chelsea and Terry himself pleaded for the court case to be moved back until after the Euros, but that isn’t the point.
The fact is the FA are continuing to charge Terry despite him being found not guilty already, and that is a pill that is too bitter for Terry to swallow. After 78 caps putting his body on the line, this latest body-blow has struck too hard. Thanks for everything, John.
Dean Mears, Sports editor